Tag Archive: tarsands


Rug

Rug

My room/office is very slowly still coming together. The clutter! The clutter! I’m still sorting through the clutter. But this feels good on my feet, and my new chair feels good on my back, and hand-me-down furniture is really the best thing ever.

rumbled paradise

rumbled paradise

And there’s something about a freshly-made-then-rumpled bed. I was staring at it longingly all day. From my desk. About three feet away.

flowers

flowers

and absent-minded flower doodles.

I’m having to deal with issues surrounding the person I’m forever having to deal with issues surrounding. It’s annoying and frustrating. (I wanted to qualify that with a “but” statement, but…But what?)

But…nothing.

And then there’s…that.

Lots going on this week. But tonight, it’s dancing in my room, writing, reading…the usual.

***

This made me happy today:

The Warriors never set foot in the Bronx

This might come as a surprise, seeing as how the movie revolves around a New York City gang trying to make their way from the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park to Brooklyn’s Coney Island, but filming only took place in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. However, authenticity aside, The Warriors captured nighttime New York in a way that very few movies had previously, using some insanely brilliant and memorable locations.

Let’s see how many we can find.

http://www.scoutingny.com/?p=6629

CBS ALMOST gets it right:

In a special report on face recognition, 60 Minutes warns us that we have nowhere to hide — that our anonymous space is approaching non-existence. Framing the problem through a simplistic (and inaccurate) division between corporate and government deployments of the technology, CBS warns us that big business plans to exploit our faces for economic gain, whether we like it or not, while government plans to use the technology to keep us safe.

But all is not equal, the narrative says: according to the bureau, the FBI is bound by strict regulation and needs lots more data to be effective. Unfortunately, CBS repeats the government’s claims as journalistic fact — no matter that they are false.

http://www.privacysos.org/node/1065

This is amazing:

Foreclose on Banks Not People

Foreclose on Banks Not People

 

For more information:

Five years after Wall Street crashed the economy, not one banker has been prosecuted for the reckless and fraudulent practices that cost millions of Americans their jobs, threw our cities and schools into crisis, and left families and communities ravaged by a foreclosure crisis and epidemic of underwater mortgages.

Record profits are back at the bailed-out banks. Meanwhile:

  • Homeowners and communities have lost billions to Wall Street’s foreclosure crisis;
  • Millions more families face foreclosure in the coming months;
  • Communities of color have been impacted the most.

http://occupywallst.org/article/people_are_too_big_to_fail/

100 Days of Hunger:

Over the last three days Anonymous ‘Operation Guantanamo’ hashtags #OpGITMO and #GTMO have skyrocketed in popularity on Twitter, drawing attention to the 100th day of the inmates’ hunger strike, as their protest becomes a question of life and death.

http://rt.com/news/anonymous-twitter-guantanamo-strike-505/

Are you starting to see all of the connections yet?

Canada’s tar sands are the third biggest oil reserve in the world, but separating the oil from the rock is energy intensive and causes three to four times more carbon emissions per barrel than conventional oil. Hansen argues that it would be “game over” for the climate if tar sands were fully exploited, given that existing conventional oil and gas is certain to be burned.

“To leave our children with a manageable situation, we need to leave the unconventional fuel in the ground,” he said. Canada’s ministers were “acting as salesmen for those people who will gain from the profits of that industry,” he said. “But I don’t think they are looking after the rights and wellbeing of the population as a whole.

“The thing we are facing overall is that the fossil fuel industry has so much money that they are buying off governments,” Hansen said. “Our democracies are seriously handicapped by the money that is driving decisions in Washington and other capitals.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/19/tar-sands-exploitation-climate-scientist

This is beautiful:

UPDATE: Midland Avenue Neighborhood Relief will be helping and reaching out to our neighbors in Oklahoma.We have seen charities and so called relief agencies fall short when it comes to keeping compassion and humanity when people are in need of help after a disaster.We will be forwarding resources and funds to the people of Oklahoma whether it be delivering it through mutual aid networks with ourselves on the ground or diverting funds to proper efforts there.We stand with Oklahoma. We know ourselves firsthand what it is like to be left to our own means.Help us stand with them. https://www.wepay.com/donations/midland-beach-relief

In case you didn’t hear:

A massive, mile-wide tornado touched down in Moore, Oklahoma Monday afternoon, killing at least 51 people, including 20 children. A reporter from local news station KFOR supposedly called it “the biggest, most destructive tornado in the history of the world,” and estimated it was two to three times the magnitude of the massive tornados that hit Oklahoma in 1999.

http://gawker.com/the-biggest-most-destructive-tornado-in-history-just-508956719?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&utm_source=gawker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

And, on that note…

 

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Clean Energy, Not Toxic Tarsands

Clean Energy, Not Toxic Tarsands

I want you to please take a couple hours out of your day to watch the following videos. Maybe do it gradually, over the course of a few days.

Tarsands 101: http://vimeo.com/7408834

Tarsands 201: http://youtu.be/84zIj_EdQdM

Climate Change 101: http://youtu.be/fWInyaMWBY8

Superheroes: http://youtu.be/yJtsABe04sw

http://vimeo.com/59452444

And then I want you to please go to this website and donate to a campaign that will help spread the word about TransCanada, Keystone XL, big oil, pipelines, climate change, environmental injustice, environmental RACISM, Tarsands Blockade, and the corporate terrorism that has become global business as usual.

That website again, in case you forgot to click and donate: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aboveallelse/above-all-else-a-keystone-xl-pipeline-documentary?ref=home_location

Please. I don’t ask for much. People are putting their lives on the line in this struggle. If you can’t afford to donate, please take the time to educate.

Oh, and FUCK TransCanada.

It’s not spring until I listen to Key Lime Pie by Camper Van Beethoven. I was holding out in hopes of…but, no. It’s time for spring to begin.

Camper Van Beethoven - June

…and I wrote you this letter…

Weekends are sort of redundant when one is unemployed. Regardless, I had a relaxing one.

Saturday began with Bitch Magazine, coffee, and raisin bran…

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

A trip to Vegfest, to help serve food for Unity Vegan Kitchen.

Unity Vegan Kitchen at Vegfest 2013

Unity Vegan Kitchen at Vegfest 2013

Though they didn’t need help, I was thankful for the excuse to make it out to the festival, and enjoyed some yummy food.

Chole Samosa

Chole Samosa

Accompanied a friend to The Great Outdoors, where we gawked at greenhouse flowers before he bought bags of soil for his garden.

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant 2

Pitcher Plant 2

Bougainvillea galore!

Bougainvillea galore!

Nerded out at the opening of the Hats off to Dr. Seuss exhibition with one of my very favorite superheroes…followed by dinner and giggles at surreal-0-vision.

I think this one was called

I think this one was called “Ejecting a Surly Cat.”

Sunday was about much needed solitude.

Abundance

Abundance

Manifesting the inspiration from the preceding day into art.

Yertle the Tortuga, Pt. 1

Yertle the Tortuga, Pt. 1

They Obeyed

They Obeyed

Contemplating…

Journaling…

Maintaining…

When I was working, this time of night on a Sunday was a time of mourning for the lost weekend hours. Now, I celebrate the time spent in pursuit of more esoteric goals. I am memorizing the contours of a simpler life-measuring the hours of the days and comparing them to the important things that need to fit within them. I am taking time to listen to birdsong and track the daily growth of the leaves on trees. I am paying close attention to my kinder instincts and (internally, silently) admonishing those who would wish me to be more cruel because that is what they would do. I am appreciating the fact that my child quotes Neitzsche when confronted with my angst (specifically, though paraphrased: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”)

I am listening to Camper Van Beethoven, and welcoming spring.

And now…the news:

Troubling reports continue to come in from the Pegasus Tarsands Pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas about the apparent control of the proverbial chicken coop by the foxes:

Now, Exxon is trying to limit access to the animals impacted by the tar sands crude. A wildlife management company hired by Exxon has taken over all oiled wild animal care. The company, called Wildlife Response Services, is now refusing to release pictures and documentation of the animals in their care, unless they are authorized by Exxon’s public relations department. http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2013/04/04/is-exxon-trying-to-hide-the-damage-from-their-tar-sands-pipeline-spill/

On Friday morning, Inside Climate Newsreported that an Exxon spokesperson told reporter Lisa Song that she could be “arrested for criminal trespass” when she went to the command center to try to find representatives from the EPA and the Department of Transportation. On Friday afternoon, I spoke to the news director from the local NPR affiliate who said he, too, had been threatened with arrest while trying to cover the spill. http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/04/reporters-say-exxon-impeding-spill-coverage-arkansas

Thankfully, the residents of Mayflower are fighting back:

On Friday, homeowners filed a civil lawsuit against Exxon in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas Western Division. In the class action suit, homeowners said the pipeline was unsafe and its rupture hurt property values. http://thecabin.net/latest-news/2013-04-06-1#.UWJPgpPvuSr

And there are superheroes on the ground, gathering information:

Elsewhere, “an activist indy news team” duo called JNL, has been using Ustream and Twitter to report from Mayflower and interview local residents. Yesterday, they were detained by police and forced to leave private property where they were reporting from, despite having permission to be there. http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/mayflower-arkansas-lockdown-following-exxon-oil-spill.html

(sample of the coverage JNL is providing: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30996411. You can find them here: https://twitter.com/jak_nlauren)

We have reports that because Exxon had already partially destroyed this wetland, they pumped diluted bitumen spilled in other areas here to get it all in one place and keep it out of sight of the media. We went in anyway.

This is how we comfort ourselves when we feel helpless:

An Exxon parody Twitter account is tweeting fake public relations updates about the oil company’s ruptured Pegasus pipeline, which spilled at least 84,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into residential streets in Mayflower, Ark., last week. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/exxon-fake-twitter-account_n_3024663.html

And I did a little studying up on the history of May Day, in preparation for the planning of picnic/potluckness:

Originally a pagan holiday, the roots of the modern May Day bank holiday are in the fight for the eight-hour working day in Chicago in 1886, and the subsequent execution of innocent anarchist workers.

In 1887, four Chicago anarchists were executed; a fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by “hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge”. The state had, in the words of the prosecution put “Anarchy is on trial” and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea. http://libcom.org/history/1886-haymarket-martyrs-mayday

The farmers, workers, and child-bearers (laborers) of the Middle Ages had hundreds of holy days which preserved the May Green, despite the attack on peasants and witches. Despite the complexities, whether May Day was observed by sacred or profane ritual, by pagan or Christian, by magic or not, by straights or gays, by gentle or calloused hands, it was always a celebration of all that is free and life-giving in the world. That is the Green side of the story. Whatever else it was, it was not a time to work.

Therefore, it was attacked by the authorities. http://libcom.org/history/incomplete-true-authentic-wonderful-history-may-day-peter-linebaugh

And I’m still listening to Camper Van Beethoven’s Key Lime Pie. As per tradition. ❤

Oh, today…

Today, today, today.

*sigh*

Book and breakfast on front porch has officially ingrained itself into ritual…

IMAG0080

And a blurry companion

IMAG0081

Made my first posts on the Education Never Ends blog…took a long walk…tutored for an hour or so…watched Killer of Sheep.

Said Goodbye (I’ll miss you.)

***

Anyway…lots of stuff in the news today.

I’m not usually the kind of person who passes along petitions to sign, because I generally feel like others already have that covered. (I’ll get the same petition by 9 or 10 of my friends, so I assume everyone else does, too.) However, I think this particular campaign is worth the risk of duplication:

The State Department’s official public comment period on Keystone XL Pipeline is now open — and it’s a crucial opportunity for us to flood them with comments. We’ll take your comments and deliver them directly and immediately to the the State Department. http://act.350.org/letter/a_million_strong_against_keystone

The award for the surrealiest headline of a lifetime goes to:

Exxon wins safety award as Mayflower sees no end to spill cleanup: http://rt.com/usa/mayflower-spill-cleanup-video-410/

And best quote from an Attorney General:

“That neighborhood was like a scene from ‘The Walking Dead,’” state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Wednesday after visiting the Little Rock suburb of Mayflower. “There were still Easter decorations on homes, but there was not a soul in sight other than people in Hazmat suits.”http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/exxon-ark-oil-spill-walking-dead-official-article-1.1307468#ixzz2Pedz6X4M

Meanwhile, in case you were unclear about who is actually running this country:

“But the reek is only a hint at ExxonMobil’s presence here. Since thick black sludge first began oozing across backyards and into the streets, surprising many residents who say they didn’t even realize the pipeline was there, the company has instituted something like martial law.” http://grist.org/climate-energy/arkansas-town-in-lockdown-after-oil-spill-nightmare/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=update&utm_campaign=socialflow

But, you know…they’re not trying to block media coverage or anything. News helicopters can just CLEAR IT WITH EXXON first and they should be fine.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford confirms that news media helicopters can now once again fly over the site of the Mayflower oil spill.  Lunsford says if news helicopters want to fly over the site, however, they will need to call ahead of time and clear it with Tom Suhrhoff of ExxonMobil. http://www.ualrpublicradio.org/post/media-faces-barriers-covering-arkansas-oil-spill

At this point, I’m seriously flipping through all of the links that I thought I might want to share today, but they’re all really fucking depressing. hahaha. In thinking about something that we might actually be able to DO about all of this…I’m hoping we can at least get a couple of people from environmental groups around town and maybe some Tarsands Blockade folks to do some teach-ins on Mayday to give people who seem alarmed by all of the spills some ideas for what they can do about it.

That’s all I got. Tomorrow will certainly end more pleasantly.

I managed to sleep in this morning…until 9:30, at least. Through the gauntlet of alarms on all of my various devices. I woke up to grey/rainy/cold morning, and promptly resumed my morning ritual of reading on the porch with coffee. Today’s reading selection: American Splendor.

Image

It was a great choice, because art like this just makes me all squishy inside. Look at the detail. It’s really evocative to meImage

The only problem is that Harvey Pekar now reminds me of someone I miss, so while my heart was warmed by panels such as these…

Image

ImageI was forced to admit to myself for the first time that I’m a little bit fucking heartbroken. That fucking brat. He went and broke my damn heart.

At any rate, the coffee was good. The garden is growing.

ImageImage

Image

Image

And April showers bring tomato flowers…

Image

So I had lunch, ice cream, and a delightful walk with a new friend, came home and made coleslaw for the kids and I to enjoy tomorrow, caught up on the news, took some deep breaths, and started writing.

Thanks for reading. ❤

***

And now…the news:

Lots of links today about the Exxon Pegasus spill in Mayflower, Arkansas (If I was feeling less lethargic, I’d make up a clever segue between April showers and Mayflower, but you are on your own for that today.)

Here’s a good general roundup:
http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/04/01/everything-you-need-know-about-exxon-pegasus-tar-sands-spill

“When we first head about the Exxon tar sands spill in Arkansas we knew we had to respond. A group of Blockaders arrived in Mayflower late last night to assist affected residents with mutual aid and help amplify their stories. Here is their first dispatch from the scene. You can also watch their livestream coverage.”

http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/exxonspill-dispatches/

Seriously. I was listening to NPR this afternoon, and I heard like a 15 second snippet on the Mayflower spill. Come on, now, media. DO YOUR FREAKING JOB!

http://www.ultimatecivics.org/index.php/contact/exxon-pipeline-spill-media-advisory

Really FAA? So our federal government can spy on non-violent protest movements, but people can’t fly planes over an oil spill?

http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_3_8699.html

Angry yet?

US law says no ‘oil’ spilled in Arkansas, exempting Exxon from cleanup dues
http://rt.com/usa/arkansas-spill-exxon-cleanup-244/
Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/02/1810571/exxons-duck-killing-pipeline-doesnt-pay-taxes-to-oil-spill-cleanup-fund/

Looking for some solidarity among fellow activists and workers on May Day this year?

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Calling all occupiers and activists: Those of us who were at General Assembly on Monday would like to have a gathering for MayDay. We’re thinking Republic Square Park would be a good place. I would like to organize teach-ins and perhaps a small Un-conference for the event…other ideas are also welcome. We will not be labeling this even specifically “Occupy Austin.” All are welcome to enjoy whatever it is we all decide to do!

If you would like to help organize, or if you have something you would like to teach or something you would like to learn, please contact me at oawelcomewagon@gmail.com OR come to General Assembly next Monday, April 8th, at 7 PM at the Capitol Building (south steps) – we may also choose to move the discussion after General Assembly to the Tactics and Strategy meeting. Contact us for further information.

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Enjoyed these insightful words from Anil Dash, even though they were mostly depressing:

“We should remember that ToS isn’t law. Geeks will hack software but treat ToS as sacred. Our culture is negatively impacted by ToS and we should reclaim our agency over them. “We should think about how to organize action around specific clauses in ToS.” In fact, “people have already chosen a path of civil disobedience.” E.g., search YouTube for “no infringement intended.” “It’s like poetry.” They’re saying “I’m not trying to step on your toes, but the world needs to see this.” “I’m so inspired by this.” If millions of teenagers assembled to engage in civil disobedience, we’d be amazed. They do on line. They feel they need to transgress because of a creative urge, or because it’s speech with a friend not an act of publishing. “That’s the opportunity. That’s the exciting part. People are doing this every single day.”

http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/2013/04/02/berkman-anil-dash-on-the-web-we-lost/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

Heartened by these powerful quotes from Arundhati Roy:

Watch This Video —>http://bit.ly/WBepP6<—’Confronting Empire’ by Arundhati Roy

“The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling : their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathing.” —Arundhati Roy
Verified quote: Book- ‘Occupy This!’, Publisher: Penguin Books, Author: Judy Rebick, source: http://bit.ly/Y7bs8F

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness : and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.” —Arundhati Roy
Verified quote: Book- ‘Empire No More!: The Lion And Wolf Shall Cease’, Publisher: Spokesman Books, Author:
Ken Coates, source: http://bit.ly/13ykxPB

Full Speech ‘Confronting Empire’ By Arundhati Roy, Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 27, 2003 >http://bit.ly/pwleZv

And enjoyed some (quick) physics lessons: http://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics

*The title of this post should have made you think of this song. Because that’s what I was singing to myself all. damn. day.